Frangibility refers to the ability of a structure or object to break or deform in a controlled manner upon impact. In aviation this includes structures such as approach lighting systems, runway lighting posts, and navigation towers.

Airplane flying over field of frangible multi light monopole approach masts at Liverpool airport

Why are frangible structures important on airfields?

In the context of airfields, frangibility is crucial for several reasons. These are largely centred around safety and operational efficiency.

Aircraft safety during collisions

Frangible structures on airfields are designed to break away or collapse upon impact with an aircraft. This design minimises the risk of structural damage to the aircraft and reduces the likelihood of fires or explosions.

Reduced foreign object damage

Frangible structures are less likely to produce debris or fragments if an aircraft collides with them during taxiing, takeoff, or landing. This debris or fragments could damage aircraft engines, tyres, or other critical components. Frangible structures mitigate the risk of foreign object damage, which then minimises costly repairs and operational disruptions.

Enhanced runway safety

Frangible structures located near runways must be designed to break away safely if struck by aircraft during landing or takeoff. Along with aircraft safety, this also prevents the obstruction of runway surfaces. This reduces the risk of additional runway accidents, and ensures clear pathways for aircraft operations.

Compliance with aviation standards

Regulatory bodies such as the ICAO and FAA set standards and guidelines for frangibility of structures on airfields. Airports and aviation infrastructure providers must adhere to these standards to ensure the safety and integrity of airfield facilities.

The logos of the ICAO and FAA regulatory bodies

Emergency response and rescue operations

Frangible structures that line taxiways, aprons, and runway edges, facilitate unimpeded access for emergency response and rescue teams in the event of aircraft incidents or accidents. Rapid access can significantly improve response times and enhance the effectiveness of emergency operations.

Operational flexibility and efficiency

Frangible structures allow for the installation of critical navigational and lighting systems without compromising the safety of aircraft operations. They can be designed to meet specific performance requirements while maintaining required levels of frangibility to protect aircraft and personnel.

Approach Masts Hurghada

Environmental considerations

Frangible materials used in airfield structures are often chosen for their minimal environmental impact. These materials are designed to degrade safely upon impact without releasing hazardous substances or causing long-term environmental damage.

Why choose Pollite for your frangible structure requirements at airfields?

Pollite are one of the largest manufacturers of fibreglass (fiberglass) structures and masts in Europe. We have an international presence that spans across Europe, Asia, USA, the Middle East, and Australasia. We work with our clients across every aspect of the design and manufacturing process to create bespoke engineered solutions and deliver masts that are, globally, the best in class. Contact us now to discuss your project requirements.

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